NC reports single-highest day increase with more than 3,800 new cases

North Carolina health officials are reporting the single-highest day increase in COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

The state is reporting an increase of 3,885 cases, the second time since the pandemic began in March that the number has topped 3,000. The first time was Wednesday when the state reported 3,119 new cases.

We saw significant changes to the COVID-19 hospitalization, death and testing numbers across North Carolina on Friday due to changes to the COVID-19 reporting dashboard.

One change was due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revising the criteria for reporting COVID-19 hospitalizations. Another happened because the state has changed the time data is uploaded into the system.

The continued spike in new cases was accompanied by 39,326 more completed tests. Hospitalizations are up to a total of 1,425 and the percent of positive tests climbed to 7.9%.

The total number of deaths reported across the state since March rose to 4,756 Saturday.

On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina’s indoor mass gathering limit will be lowered to 10 people in an effort to drive down COVID-19 metrics, particularly through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Executive Order 176 went into effect on Friday, Nov. 13 and will be in place through Friday, December 4.

State health officials also urged people to avoid travel over Thanksgiving and only gather with people in your household. For those that do plan to travel or get together with others, NCDHHS has issued guidance outlining steps to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, including getting tested three to four days ahead of time.

For a full list of guidance about traveling and gathering during the holidays, along with a chart outlining low, medium and high-risk activities, click here.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

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Note: The numbers we show you every day mean everything in how our community recovers from coronavirus -- both in terms of healthcare and the economy -- but they don’t mean much without the proper context and as much transparency as possible.

New cases vary day by day based on a lot of factors. That can include how long it takes to get results back, so a new case reported today can really be several days old.

The other big metric we watch is the percent of positive cases. This is data we can only get from the state because it’s not as simple as factoring a percent of new cases each day from the number of tests. That’s because test results take days and come from a variety of places.

What about closer to home?

On Friday, Mecklenburg County released its updated COVID-19 data. Last week, the percentage of people tested coming back positive was about 7.5%.

We had been seeing that percentage dropping, until late October, at which point it has steadily been climbing.

The county is also seeing more positive cases and hospitalizations over the last week.

FULL DATA:

As of Saturday morning, there were 37,984 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 413 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents.

Highlights about the 37,091 COVID-19 cases reported in Mecklenburg County as of Nov. 11, 2020 include:

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • About 1 in 4 reported cases are Hispanic – most of whom are younger adults. As previously noted, some factors influencing this trend include:
  • Targeted testing occurring in neighborhoods with lower access to care, some of which have larger Hispanic populations;
  • Higher proportions of Hispanics working in essential jobs that make social distancing difficult;
  • Significant household spread among large families; and
  • Pre-existing disparities in other social and economic determinants of health, like poverty.
  • About 1 in 20 reported cases were hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection. While everyone is at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, reported cases who were older adults (≥ 60 years) were more likely to be hospitalized compared to younger individuals.
  • About 8 out of 10 have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
  • During the past week, an average of 251 laboratory-confirmed infections were reported compared to the 14-day average of 234 confirmed infections. This represents an increase over the last 14 days. These data are based on Mecklenburg resident cases reported to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 150 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. This represents an increase over the last 14 days. These data are based on daily census counts from acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County reporting to MCPH.
  • During the past week, an average of 7.5 percent of individuals who were tested in Mecklenburg County were positive for COVID-19. This represents an increase in trends over the last 14 days. These data only include ELRs for molecular (PCR) tests submitted to NC DHHS for laboratories electronically submitting negative and positive COVID-19 results.
  • Four hundred-thirteen deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases.
  • Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 4 deaths occurred in adults ages 20 to 39 and 55 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
  • All deaths, except five, occurred among adults with underlying chronic illnesses.
  • More than half were non-Hispanic Whites. The disparity in COVID-19 deaths among non-Hispanic Whites is related to differences in race/ethnicity of residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities actively experiencing an outbreak.
  • Half of the deaths were connected to active outbreaks at long-term care (LTC) facilities.
  • Among deaths not connected to outbreaks at long-term care facilities, nearly 3 in 4 were non-White, with just over 40 percent being non-Hispanic Black. As previously noted, these disparities are largely driven by higher rates of underlying chronic conditions that increase risk of severe complications due to COVID-19 infection among these communities
  • Based on publicly available mobility tracking data, social distancing slightly increased in Mecklenburg County over the last 14 days.